Lisa Laffi graduated in Preservation of Cultural Heritage and teaches literature. She lives in Imola, where for years she has worked as a journalist and editor. As well as being a novelist, she writes for various newspapers, and is a playwright and the author of essays on local history. Her work includes La rosa del deserto, for which she won the prestigious “Verbania for women” prize, Il serpente e la rosa (I Doni delle Muse, 2015), L’ultimo segreto di Botticelli (TRE60, 2019) and La regina senza corona (TRE60, 2020).
La regina senza corona
(Queen Without a Crown)
Tre60, June 2020
2nd runner-up at the La Repubblica’s Robinson supplement literature competition for best biography in 2020.
A novel about Margaret of Austria. A woman destined to conquer the hearts of kings and alter the destinies of entire nations.
1483 – Margaret is only three years old when her father, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, pledges her hand in marriage to Charles VIII, King of France, in order to put an end to the conflict between France and Flanders. Carefree, the duchess grows up in the spendid castle of Amboise until Charles stipulates a more advantagious marriage agreement, so Margaret is forced to return to Flanders, where she can finally devote herself body and soul to her great passion: art. However, the Holy Roman Emperor summons her back to her political duties and to a new marriage alliance that leads her to wear the Spanish crown. Far away from home once again, despite a brief period of happiness with her husband, the Prince of Asturias, Margaret is soon widowed. Returning home without a crown, Margaret gradually learns that a woman can be the author of her own fate and decides to become “queen” of the arts. Only the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire cannot accept that she should relinquish her destiny as queen… Set amid love affairs, palace intrigues and a great passion for art, this book is the portrayal of a brave woman who defied the rules of her era and showed everyone the qualities truly necessary to being a queen.